For information only – not an official document
7 March 2021
Remarks by H.E. Mr. Volkan Bozkir
President of the United Nations General Assembly
Special Event at the 14th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
7 March 2021
I thank the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and the Government of Japan, for inviting me to participate in this important event.
Today’s discussion is a testament to the agility of the United Nations. In implementing the Doha Declaration, as adopted in resolution 70/174, the General Assembly recognised that crime prevention, criminal justice and the rule of law, are global issues which require a multilateral response.
UNODC met this call for action by creating the Doha Declaration Global Programme, supported by the Government of Qatar, which translates policy directives and recommendations into concrete, measurable results. The success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development hinges upon our commitment to programmes such as this. We cannot build equal, just, and peaceful societies without initiatives such as the Global Judicial Integrity Network.
Furthermore, your work on prisoner rehabilitation is key to preventing recidivism. I applaud the skills training you are doing with prisoners, in line with the Nelson Mandela Rules on the treatment of prisoners. I also welcome your actions, both in policy and practice, during the COVID-19 pandemic including the provision of hygiene kits to prisoners.
COVID-19 has of course made the path to 2030 more arduous. However, we cannot allow the pandemic to derail our efforts.
We must pay particular attention to young people coming of age in this tumultuous period who may feel disillusioned. Indeed, the impact of crime and violence has a life-changing impact on youth - both as victims, and perpetrators, of crimes. I commend the “Youth Crime Prevention Through Sport” initiative, which offers an alternative path away from crime, violence, and drug use. We cannot underestimate the sense of community, safety, and confidence, gained from participating in sport.
Furthermore, the “Education for Justice programme” has assisted more than 1.5 million children and young people from 187 countries to understand and address issues, that can undermine the rule of law.
There is much work to do in this Decade of Action, to implement sustainable development. However, your work on the promotion of the rule of law and justice has laid the foundation for a better world for all.
Working together, we can succeed, in tackling crime, and leaving no one behind.
* *** *